With the murder of African American man, George Floyd, the world is beaming with protests.
This incident has brought in attention the prejudices in the minds of people and the difficulty
for the oppressed classes. To show its support for the matter, SoftBank is launching $100
million fund called “Opportunity Growth Fund” to invest in “companies led by entrepreneurs
and founders of color”.
Marcelo Claure, Chief Operating Officer of SoftBank is responsible for the fund described as
the company’s initiative to improve diversity. “We have to put money behind it, set plans, and
hold ourselves accountable,” he said in an email addressed to the company. Opportunity
Growth Fund will be focusing on African American and Latinos in the US.
The initial size of this fund is smaller than the typical investment size of SoftBank Vision Fund
led by Rajiv Misra. Claure is running a fund investing in Latin America in addition to heading
restructuring for struggling WeWork. Misra and Claure are considered as potential successors
to Chief Executive Masayoshi Son making them rivals.
The company will also be starting a “dedicated diverse and inclusion program” to reduce the
disparity in workforce. The Tokyo-based firm has an extensive strength of male employees in
its management. They also plan to announce their first female board director at a shareholder
meeting later in the month.
SoftBank only has 4 out of 30 female investors listed on Vision Fund’s website with a large
variety in nationality. Multiple companies have made public statements post what is said to be
the biggest civil unrest in decades in the US. Even Sony postponed an event for its upcoming
PlayStation 5 console stating their support for the masses.